Keelan: Where will the next attack strike?

by Don Keelan

As if we all don’t have enough crises to confront–Covid-19 and the Delta variant, wildfires, climate change, increase in crime statistics, economic issues from material and labor shortages–we now have the fall of Afghanistan and looming expectations of Taliban retribution. 

Don Keelan

From the list of issues we already worry about, we can add that, once again, America will have to deal with a potentially devastating terrorist attack(s). Furthermore, we should not discount that an attack could come on or near the 20th anniversary of the attacks of September 11, 2001. 

The fall of the Afghan government was expected, according to the experts. What shocked the President and those surrounding him is how quickly the fall took place. This surprise raises three significant questions. 

Of course, the first is why the President and his advisors were deaf to the military field commanders and our NATO partners? The list of experts must be enormous and their expertise ever so costly, but all failed miserably, as was the case in September 2001. 

The second question is, what form of Taliban retribution can we expect? Twenty years ago this fall, the U.S. and its Allies went into Afghanistan with an overwhelming force and, along with the Afghanistan Northern Alliance, crushed the Taliban bringing an end to al-Qaeda in Afghanistan. For the next 10 years until May 2010, al-Qaeda’s leader Osama bin Laden (he escaped the invasion forces) created numerous off-shoots of al-Qaeda in Somalia, Nigeria, Syria, Iraq, Chad/Mali, and Yemen, among other places. 

Even with bin Laden’s capture and death, the Taliban subsidiaries continue to proliferate. The picture becomes even direr now that the Taliban can openly work with nuclear-armed Pakistan, their safe-keeper since 9/11.

The third question is, what message does America’s unceremonious withdrawal from a country we invested so much treasure tell our friends and Allies, many of whom directly depend on us for their defense? 

Let there be no doubt: as soon as the first C-17 USAF plane lifted off from the Kabul airport, China and Russia were working the phones describing how America “protects” its friends. 

I will leave it up to the historians to decipher what took place on August 16, 2021, in Kabul. However, historians cannot tell us what will occur next. It is disconcerting that the army of intelligence experts might be unable to tell us either. 

The Taliban will seek revenge for what they encountered in 2001. They are now in an even stronger position to carry out more devious attacks than what took place in New York City, at the Pentagon, and in Shanksville, PA. 

However, retaliation can be avoided or at the least interrupted if our leaders begin to focus on their first and primary responsibility: the safety of the United States and its people. 

The endless discussion of racism, climate change, budget-busting spending programs, Trump’s Presidency, and other issues must be placed in order of priority: below our national security. What took place in Afghanistan will not be confined to its borders, 8,000 miles away. The terrorists have been waiting a long time. The adage is, “while we had the watch, they have the time.” 

As we come to the 20th Anniversary of 9/11, let’s put ourselves back in time to the days and weeks that followed: when we said, we will never forget. We have forgotten, and we need to remember those tragic weeks after September 2001. I can’t imagine, nor would I wish to witness, thousands of Americans running down the tarmacs at Kennedy, O’Hare, and Logan airports. 

When will the U.S. come to adopt what the late George Shultz (former Secretary of State) once said and which was recently noted in the Wall Street Journal: “Negotiations are a euphemism for capitulation if the shadow of power is not cast across the bargaining table”?

The author is a retired CPA and U.S. Marine. He lives in Arlington. Unsplash photo of Twin Towers and New York City skyline.

Categories: Commentary

7 replies »

  1. Unfortunately for America, Keelan is probably right. The US is now vulnerable to many types of attacks, at any time- entirely due to the current administration and majority party in Congress. We have allowed our sovereignty as a nation to be erased, by a porous border to the south and suspension of immigration law. We have allowed liberal dogma to control our nation, with the supposed head of our nation unable to comprehend and recognize fact and danger seemingly due to hubris and old age. That biden was unable to grasp the effect of his actions in Afghanistan will set US policy for decades. We as a nation will continue to be reactionary rather than proactive in defending ourselves and our allies.
    biden seemingly could not have done more to assist China, Pakistan, Iran and Russia to further their goals while exposing our nation to risk and threat, all the while enacting policy at home harmful to our nation. Mean Tweets never bothered me, but to see the damage done here in the US by this cabal of liberal zealots certainly does. How much more damage to America will be tolerated before the people have had enough? We are going to find out.

  2. Well….it doesn’t help the case that this socialist/lawless administration has had the legal, Constitutional borders to this nation WIDE OPEN since day one for people, un-vetted & sick with Covid19 pouring in by the millions from over 130 countries. Next, they loaded airplanes full of the same by the thousands & took them here into the U.S.A…….so of COURSE there are certainly going to be a multiplicity of attacks across this nation beginning at any time.

    But….as long as they believe that these illegals will eventually vote dimocrat & Obama, who IS INDEED a Muslim- is happy, all is well in new world order: Amerika.

    Great job, Dimocrats! No “mean” tweets…..that’s all that matters, right? Blown up family members? We can “handle” that! Marxism? Karl Marx was “misunderstood”, not evil. Bio-warfare from China? Well, it mostly kills older people who are a drain on us to begin with. Yeah. Again – good job.

    • Did someone say he didn’t?

      Trump also visited North Korea – the first acting president to do so.

      So what’s your point?

  3. 20 years after the act of war on Sept. 11, 2001, Americans and travelers worldwide are still having to deal with the indignities, inconveniences and architectural modifications of the “security theater” that goes on in our transportation facilities because we allowed an attack by extremists from these medieval theocracies. These people dont respond to “nice”, all they know is force. American lefties are all concerned about Texas abortion restrictions and celebrating LGBT rights, while we welcome a Trojan horse of refugees into our midst who treat women as property, and regard homosexuality as a criminal offense, punishable by death. Radical Islam is a big enough problem, but the culture promoted by the left that allows us to be vulnerable to our enemies in our own land will more likely bring our ultimate societal downfall.
    And yes, Obama had a muslim father, was born a muslim, was given a muslim name, attended muslim schools and several times fell into a Freudian slip when asked about it. We can argue about whether he “is” a muslim, but we have the same confusion these days about whether a person is a male or a female or something in between and can’t always get a straight answer on that either.

  4. “Negotiations are a euphemism for capitulation if the shadow of power is not cast across the bargaining table.” ?

    Promises made – promises kept… something is coming and it’s going to be an eye opener that will cause history to be rewritten. Hope people are ready!

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